Bandit Nights by Sergio A. Ortiz

I am tired
of this monotonous,
sedentary afternoon
in which long-faced gentlemen
vociferate their ignorance
of the Afghan war.

Dazed afternoon
under the scorching sun
watching a mangy dog
get up off the floor
unconcerned with the child
who just got shot
by its side.

I want to emigrate,
find nights sharpened by
the owl’s eye,
nights full of bandits
and consumptive whores.
I want to crumple up
like the wasp’s neurosis
on my bed.

Oh, outlet city,
how is it that my verses
are born in this ferocious
village? What empty lines
did I mistake for an oasis,
dark-dense people
full of shady passions?


In an hour by Sergio A. Ortiz

Like everything that finds me,
damned spring,
you’ve set a price
on blooms of bugambilias
around the periphery
of my brow.
And here I am drawing on
Who cares if love comes
and goes in an hour?
Goddamned lying spring,
allow me to kiss you
as if a kiss were more
than just a kiss.

Upon Receiving a Rejection Notice by Sergio A. Ortiz

Envy is the Lemonade
Countess, small cutesy
runaround with that oh, really,
yes-yes expression on her face
aristocrat macaques are
so fond of.

—Yes, Monsieur,
we love your rigadoon dance.
Your elegant word of the day,
volupté . But in our presence,
please, don’t mention frogs.
They multiply in the mirrors
at the king’s court.

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